The Village of Pemberton is stepping up its monitoring of emergency situations with the establishment of an Emergency Planning and Operations Committee.
The committee, which is to have representation from two council members, the Village administrator, the Village's emergency coordinator and heads of selected departments or designates, is intended to ensure that Pemberton is meeting various legislative and emergency requirements - and is not a reaction to recent emergency situations.
"It's really more about bringing us up to date legislatively, because we actually had a duplication there," Mayor Jordan Sturdy said.
"Ms. (Bettina) Falloon is our emergency coordinator and has been through training over the course of the past year, has reviewed our bylaws and emergency program and is making recommendations to really modernize it and bring it up to the current standards it should be at."
A report to council stated that the committee's mandate is to prepare and present to council for annual review and approval a list of hazards that the Village is facing on a yearly basis; plans respecting preparation, response and recovery from emergencies and disasters, plans which would include a period review of procedures, a training program and measures by which emergency resources or assistance can be obtained.
It was initially recommended to council that only one Village lawmaker sit on the committee, but council ultimately opted for two. Mayor Sturdy and Councillor Ted Craddock have been selected to sit on the committee.
Pemberton has been no stranger to emergencies in recent years. In the summer of 2010 the community bore witness to the second-biggest landslide in Canadian history at Mount Meager, in which 40 million cubic metres fell from the mountain's summit about 60 kilometres north of Pemberton.
The landslide flowed into Capricorn Creek and created a natural dam at its confluence with Meager Creek, partially blocking the Lillooet River behind it. A major volume of water backed up behind it created concern that it could flood the Pemberton Valley but the waters later receded.
In the summer before that, both the Village and Area C of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District faced down a spate of forest fires that blazed at the northern end of the Pemberton Meadows, on Copper Mountain and the Camel's Back.
Both the fires and the avalanche brought evacuation orders that asked that many Meadows resident leave their homes until the fires could be brought under control.
Ravens Crest pushing through zoning process
With a public hearing on Tuesday night and an open house Wednesday, a housing neighbourhood proposed for the Raven's Crest property continues to forge ahead through the Village's zoning process.
Council pushed through on Tuesday the first and second readings for two bylaws that would allow the proponent to locate a housing development on the Pemberton Hillside area: a zoning amendment and an amendment to the Official Community Plan (OCP).
A public hearing as part of the zoning process was scheduled for Tuesday evening while the proponent held an open house about the development on Wednesday night. Another public hearing is scheduled as part of the OCP amendment process on Oct. 11.
Councillor Susie Gimse, who previously urged proponent Ravens Crest Developments to hold an open house to explain to the public more fully the plans they have for the Hillside, said at the meeting that she was happy that the proponent was holding the open house.